Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

General Dempsey on MMOGs and leadership development

It is now being widely reported that General Martin Dempsey, who was appointed as head of the US Army earlier this year, will be selected as the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He’s also quite the fan of massively multiplayer online games as a learning and training tool, as he noted in his Senate confirmation hearing in March:

I feel the same way today about social networking. We’ve got young men and women playing massive multiplayer online role- playing games, MMOGs as they call them, World of Warcraft and others—I mean, millions of children playing these interactive games. And they’re learning something about developing as leaders, believe it or not, because of the way these games structure, and you have to impose your own leadership into the game.

We can figure out how to leverage a game like that for leader development, linking schoolhouses across the country—I’m talking about military schoolhouses. I think we’d be onto something in helping these young men and women collaborate, meet their desire to social network, and also facilitate the kind of learning we’re going to need by introducing complex problems in that environ- ment, that we can’t replicate physically at places like Fort Hood and Fort Bragg and Fort Carson. So, I think social networking has enormous opportunities for us.

There’s no news yet on how this might affect the US military’s response to the growing hybrid threat of global Murloc proliferation.

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